It was one year ago when the Zagat editors approached me to take over the blog for Chicago. They were in town for the 30 under 30 party, and organized a gathering of local freelancers to fill a position that didn’t exactly even exist. The blog was a wasteland of occasionally curated content. It needed a fresh voice and, most importantly, a dedicated writer to show it some love. They liked my style, ambition, attitude or maybe just the hair, and within a month I was blogging for the restaurant survey site.
This year, the blog is without a doubt mine – a project I have nurtured and grew into my own. Something I am proud of, but still have big plans for it. The 30 under 30 list was also a project that I had more than a little say in – from the selection and writing of the list to making sure this years party ran train on last years – I had a hand in it all and it came to fruition at a party on Monday night at Nellcote.
I know things in my life are out of order when I blog for myself and not work. Sometimes it’s death that bring me backs here, other times it’s my job, usually it has something to do with a boy – but always this space is where I put my thoughts when they are too big for my head.
Last night I covered an event, there was the usual champagne and displays of wealth that go with most newsworthy parties. The four-hour affair not only put food on display but also each of my addictions in rapid succession. The first: alcohol.
I made my grandmother cry last week while talking about a spirits article I was writing. She said she didn’t like the way I talk about liquor and I told her mixology was an art not a gateway to alcoholism. I don’t think that I am an alcoholic, but I’ve let booze ruin my night on more than a few occasions. It’s my crutch, it’s my courage and sometimes it’s even my boyfriend. Alcohol is not a good friend; it’s one of those friends who is fun to hang out with but never responds to text messages and talks shit behind your back. Continue reading
The boxes are back. Just three for now, but in two weeks there will be more transporting all my belongs once again. Like clockwork, for the past five years, when the last days of May trickle into summer, I move. From school to home, from Europe to the United States, from Pennsylvania to Illinois. This time, from my first Chicago apartment to my second. For the first time though, I am moving into a space that I think I will be able to call my own.
My life has been very nomadic, moving from place to place and taking up residence in houses, apartment and dorms that I was never able to call home. Its hard to make a sterile dorm room homey, or more recently, find my own identity in places that were already decorated and lived in by roommates. However, my new apartment on a quaint corner of Bucktown, I plan to nest a little – maybe hang up my jacket and stay a while.
This is a foodie’s Christmas wish list. The 5th annual Chicago Restaurant Week released the list of participating restaurants. It is the holy grail of Chicago cuisine and has everything from Latin to Asian, steak houses and BBQ. And I plan on eating it all, without shame, and possibly without utensils. Each restaurant puts together a special menu with some of their signature dishes. The prix fixe lunch menus cost $22 and dinner $33 ($44 if you wanna be super fancy, and extra for drinks and tip) .
There are 215 restaurant to choose from, and only one week to hit up as many as possible. Rather than eating at a dozen places each day, I narrowed down the list to my top picks. Full menus can be seen by clicking on the picture above.
- Branch 27
- The Bristol
- Cafes des Architects
- Chicago q
- Grange Hall
- Nacional 27
- Paris Club
- Table 52
I love getting hit on at a bar as much as the next girl. It’s very flattering to have a guy go out of his way to show interest in you. I know it takes a lot of courage to approach a stranger in a vulnerable situation like that, and kudos to any man who has mastered the technique. In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to approaching women in a bar-like setting. Go up to her, say hi, and deliver a genuine compliment. Done. Easy peasy. But, oh, the cheesy pick-up lines are endlessly more entertaining. The ones that emulate phoniness, that you can smell coming from a mile away, and then, when they finally arrive, feel greasy and make your face cringe. Even the most over-used, under-creative, “baby, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” pick-up line is more palatable than what happened to me at The Bedford last night.
Me in the vault at The Bedford with the infamous curly hair
My friends and I were invited to Time Out’s 100 Best Party by the VP of Marketing, who we had met a few months back. We knew him fairly well, and had met a couple of his friends at other events. They are older than us, and a slightly awkward, in a kind of cute, borderline pathetic sort of way. We spent most of the night downing free drinks and scouring the room for passed hors d’oeuvres, while the gentlemen calculated the perfect moment to approach our table to say hi. It took them about an hour to accumulate enough liquid courage to make the move.
Said VP’s friend was the first to journey into the lionesses’ den. Let’s call him Toby. Poor Toby; he was drunk, didn’t remember our names even though he had met us multiple times (it’s okay because we didn’t remember his name either) and could barely stay seated on the stool. We made simple small talk, mostly about the VP/host of the party, who had yet to acknowledge our presence at the event he invited us to. Then it happened, the strangest thing that has ever happened to me at a bar. Continue reading